This summer, ShopRite in Milford was honored for its commitment to providing good service to its customers while protecting the environment.

Harry Garafalo not only earned the Grocery Stewardship Certification from a group called Manomet for his Milford Shop Rite and several other stores, but he was the first in the state to do so, according to a press release from Manomet.

The press release states that Manomet’s Grocery Stewardship Certification program is the first and only one in the country to recognize grocery sustainability.

Manomet is a nonprofit group that champions better practices in conservation, business sustainability, and science education in the U.S. and internationally.

According to Grocerycert.org, Manomet consists of individuals working from Alaska to Argentina. Among its various environmental programs, it gives grocers a structure and analysis for operating stores effectively while taking into account stormwater, greenhouse gas emissions, green chemical management, shipping, communication and more.

The press release states that Garafalo Markets works to curtail the amount of toxins from invading the environment. “Every year it saves an abundance of water usage, waste from entering landfills and greenhouse gases from being discharged,” the certificate states. “Workers for this company are very serious about keeping our land clean and healthy.”

“I am proud of our staff for their focus and hard work on this important issue,” said Garafalo. "Environmental awareness and sustainability are so important to us at our ShopRite stores. It's good business and the right thing to do and that's why we were so proud to achieve this special certification — the first in the state. Our associates work hard to reach these high standards while focusing on reducing our waste, energy usage and water usage in a variety of ways."